Life was ordinary, happy and busy and yet......once in a while, the Mum would wander outside where the towering trees reached their fingers to God and gazing heavenward, she would close her eyes, listen to the flutter of wings and wonder deeply...she wondered if, perhaps, there was a fourth child who could join the family and fill the empty seat at the table that seats six.
She wondered and prayed, but it was not to be.
The years danced by and sprinkled silver in the Mum's hair. The children thrived and grew rapidly and the Mum would hum as she painted, taught and picked the ruby tomatoes....and yet....when the wind would whisper softly through the towering trees and the birds would prosaically sing, the Mum would find herself, once again, outside gazing heavenward, wondering if there mightn't be another little one for her arms to welcome.
But it was not to be.
One day, quite unexpectedly, the Mum and the kind Father received amazing news that it WAS meant to be! The Mum's heart was so full of joy that it spilled out through her eyes and ran down her face. She ran outside and looked up to the God that the trees wanted to touch and the bright birds who were so poetic and thanked Him many times over Rejoicing with her children, friends and family, they began the preparations for the day when the little one from far away would join the family, completing the table that seated six.
And the Mum would smile and sing and dream and plan, because it was finally meant to be.
The Mum and the kind Father had, in the past, traveled to a Faraway Kingdom that had little ones who needed loving Mums and kind Fathers. A message was sent in the swiftest way possible to the Faraway Kingdom, but the returning missive sternly stated, "Wait."
The Mum had never known that the word "wait" could be such a difficult word! Such a small word, this word called "wait", but it stretched out longer and longer, until you could unwind it like a silky rope all the way to the distant Kingdom and back again, still not pulling the little one safely home....yet...most days, the Mum could already feel the Little One's soft hand in hers......her heart so completely ready to give equally of itself as it had already done thrice before.
So the family in the valley hung onto the endless, silky rope of "wait" and they waited. Now and again, when the rain would fall, the boughs would bend, twisting in their desire to touch God. The trees' elegant companions would trill their rain songs and the Mum would wander once again outside. Feeling the cool, sweet drops upon her face, she would close her eyes and whisper in time with the whispering trees, "Is it meant to be?"
After endless waiting, grasping hopefully onto the rope of "wait", the Faraway Kingdom decided to firmly slam shut their foreboding, foreign gates and sternly bind them shut with red, red tape.
And it was not to be.
When it became not to be, a piece of the Mum's heart died within her and her eyes wept endlessly. The trees no longer beckoned to God. The Mum no longer heard the birds' airy trills and God was deafeningly quiet. In the silence, the Mum could only hear the sound of her heart breaking. When her tears were all used up, the Mum became angry, sadly allowing the crafty thief named Bitterness to creep in, capture her daily song, steal her pens and brushes and sneak stealthily out again.
The Mum's children were sad because her song was stolen and she no longer painted her dreams. The kind Father was sad because the Mum was sad...... because it was not meant to be and it never would be.
For a time, there was only a vast and quiet sadness in the house in the valley on the side of the green hill.
It was not meant to be.
One day, while the Mum was elegiacally busy with her day, she heard the creak of the gate, a gentle knock at the door. The Mum rushed out....surprised to welcome the Wise One, who dwelt on the hilltop, into her home. At the table that seated six, she hastily brought out tea and cookies, nervously wondering why the Wise One would visit her humble abode.
Sitting creakily down, a stretch of silence reigned for just a few, vivid moments. The Wise One observed her keenly with his blue, blue eyes that shone gently with the reflected love of God and the Mum suddenly felt like no secrets were safe from him. Without speaking, he observed the Mum's introverted bitterness, anger and sadness towards God. The Wise One knew that no songs had left the Mum's lips nor had any art been created for quite a space of time. Breaking the pregnant silence, Wise One started speaking in the gentlest of ways. His kind voice resonated with sweet healing Scripture and instruction, while the Mum wept tears of repentance.......regret for allowing the stealthy thief named Bitterness to sneak in, steal her precious joy, pens and brushes.
As the Wise One got up to leave, he pressed a small object into the Mum's hand. His blue eyes twinkled as if they would overflow with all of God's secrets and he was gone.
The Mum slowly opened her hand. In it was a note written on a smooth river stone in an ancient hand. Wonderingly, the Mum read:
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
What did it mean? The Mum's heart hummed with the question. Somewhere inside of her, a spark was lit. She felt it when she read the note.
Pondering, the Mum plonked herself down in her blue art studio....grabbing a pen, she started dreaming as she drew...what would come of this? She drew, drew and drew some more...She couldn't stop!
As she drew, she pondered and dreamt....when her hands grew stiff or the cookies needed baking, she would rest and she would think and pray.
For eight months, the Mum took her drawings everywhere she went. She drew in the busy market, carefully avoiding bumping elbows and clattering carts. She drew when she traveled, choosing empty corners in bustling areas. She drew whilst she waited for her children to get done with their activities.....late at night, during lunch...she drew and dreamt and drew. Some days her hands were stiff, sore and her third finger developed a funny little dent, but still, she drew on.
The Mum felt her faith and her joy slowly returning, for when fair spring arrived, the Mum set down her pens, stepped out her door...closing her eyes, she breathed in the fragrant day...and she knew that her birds could help other families fly their little ones home.
The name came to her....Birds For Babies.....that's what her designs would be called. She would sell them and help little ones fly safely home.
With an overflowing heart, the Mum rejoiced in God's mercy and grace upon her life. For even through keen disappointment and grief can He build something beautiful.
Once again, in the green valley on the side of the hill, the little, white house thrums with activity. The children grow and learn, the Mum bakes cookies for the kind Father and the birds fly off the pages, helping the little ones soar home to their forever families.
The Mum now knew rest of the timeless lesson that the Wise One so graciously bestowed:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart....He carefully, patiently changes your desires into a beautiful, perfect blend of His own.